katniss singing to rue

A Hunger Games (Book 1) Timeline

Hi all!

About a month ago, I was inspired by an idea for creating a timeline for the HG books.   As a visual learner, I felt that something that anyone could reference easily for the details on when certain events happened.  So, I began going through the book, and what follows is a timeline based on the first book (page references are from the paperback edition).

My thanks to the always wonderful @mtk4fun and @norbertsmom for looking over and helping me correct mistakes and improve the details.  You both are the best!

So, here it is…

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MFA Thesis Bloopers: The Hunger Games Edition

I had a big chunk of my thesis talking about why Katniss’ narrative voice is an ineffective authorial choice and, as a result, actually objectifies Katniss in and of itself by removing her agency, but it ended up not really fitting in with the rest of my paper. Howeversies, I still kinda like it, so I’m posting it here. Panem Companion Parte Deux, all.

And yes: it is written very informally, not in Academia Language, because the crux of my paper is Voice, so @anneursu had me write the whole thesis as myself, not as an Academia Robot. Although I am kind of an academia robot anyway.

Also, this is minus the italics and stuff for titles and whatever because I’m lazy and MLA suuuuuuucks.


In bestselling YA fiction, there is no shortage of teenage girls who speak out around and against the system.

In Ally Condie’s The Matched Trilogy, protagonist Cassia Reyes teaches herself to write longhand—an obsolete skill in her world—and uses it to her advantage to be able to communicate with fellow rebels and to trade for priceless banned books and works of art. Language matters to Cassia Reyes.

June Iparis, a female soldier and top recruit for her own shadowy government in Marie Lu’s Legend series, becomes intimately acquainted with the duplicitous nature of double-speak as she finds love with her society’s number one criminal and sees her brother murdered by the ruling class he served: while the coding of her military superiors’ speeches allows them to conceal insidious truths, Day, her rebel boyfriend, relies on being able to hide his messages in plain sight so they can survive.

And yet.

For all of the stories about teenage girls overthrowing corrupt governments, communicating rebel information, and infiltrating unseen behind enemy lines, there are few novels written in voices that take advantage of their protagonists’ proclivity towards playing with language.

Cassia Reyes teaches herself to write but models her language, from the outset of the trilogy, on bare-bones grammatical prescriptivism and the poetry of dead white guys; she learns to write longhand, but the words that she shares in this writing, and in her narration, do not speak of a girl learning that her entire world is a lie and her place in it, more variable than she could have dared to dream. Cassia Reyes is the same narrator, even if not the same girl, by the end of Reached as she was at the beginning of Matched, despite one of the major themes of her series being the way that censorship and control quell individual thought. After all that Cassia sees and learns and feels and grows—and leads—her voice remains the voice of Ally Condie: a traditionally educated adult from our contemporary United States. Even before she discovers the lost poetry of Dylan Thomas, Cassia’s voice suggests a Brigham Young English major.

Marie Lu offers alternating perspectives through June and Day, each speaking in first-person chapters, throughout the Legend series, but both of her dynamic personalities speak in the same voice. As a soldier, an orphan, a party to the system itself, June’s voice is measured and hesitant to become emotional, and this makes sense. It makes less sense for Day to be the same: Day, who lives on the streets to protect his beloved, and deathly ill, family from recriminations for his rebellion; Day, who makes his money in fistfights and betting matches; Day, for whom remaining alive is an act of sedition. Lu’s otherwise-impressive worldbuilding is belied by the similarity in June- and Day’s thoughts and voices, and the way this similarity undermines as superficial their supposed gaps in gender, economic status, and right to live in the world.

The opportunities for linguistic play available through science fiction and fantasy are abundant in general, but young adult books gain an additional layer of permission to screw convention when their protagonists are teenage girls. Unfortunately, too many of the series that gain mainstream attention do so because they adhere most strictly to prescriptivist language: the language of adult, white men, in particular. In doing so, they break a covenant with their readers that is as deep a betrayal as the covenants broken by the dystopian governments of their pages – these books, too, cast their teenage protagonists out and refuse them a full “life” on the page.

In The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins writes Katniss, her teenage female protagonist, as often the last to know and integrate coded language, or to be excluded from its creation entirely. While it is arguable that Madge Undersee, also seventeen and a tertiary character, set the image of the Mockingjay into play as a revolutionary symbol, Collins gives no female teen characters real agency in their diction or syntax: Peeta, a boy, gets to lie and charm; Gale, a boy, chooses to eschew language for action; Annie, a very young woman, can barely speak; Katniss’ own most stunning verbal moment, her singing to Rue in her grave, is given over to words that Katniss credits with her father and his mining culture.

It is in this mining culture, though, where we do see some semblance of personal voice from Katniss. Before she ever volunteers for The Hunger Games, Collins allows for the reader to meet Katniss by engaging in a day of normalcy before all the bloodlust and conspiracy. We are gifted with Katniss’ small, private moments with her beloved sister Prim, and the nickname that she’s bestowed her (“little duck” [15]). Collins crafts, beautifully, Katniss’ tense and restrained reaction to the animosity between her only two friends, Gale and Madge, in a minute-long exchange that will come to define so much of the remainder of Katniss’ life: “I don’t like that Gale took a dig at Madge, but he’s right, of course. The reaping system is unfair… here’s the catch” (13).

On her hunting trip with Gale—the only time we see her feel at home—her language is straightforward: “[I] retrieved the small bow and arrows he’d made me from a hollow tree. I probably didn’t go more than twenty yards into the woods… After several hours, I had the good luck to kill a rabbit” (50). Her language early in the book reflects her necessary self-interest: she did the thing she needed to do to survive. No frills. While in its own way prescriptivist, this is a narrative stance that makes sense with Katniss’ upbringing and character.

All too soon, though, the story moves out of Katniss’ home in the Seam of District 12… and the realism, the grounded personality, in her voice slips away, too. As soon as Katniss boards the Tribute train, her narration relies on language that Suzanne Collins would know and use—not an uneducated teenage hunter-gatherer from a marginalized race in a marginalized nation-state under a tyrannical dictatorship. Katniss enters the Capitol knowing the names of foods she’s never eaten and clothes she’s never worn. Her metaphors and similes come from places and things she’s never seen.

The creature standing before me in the full-length mirror has come from another world. Where skin shimmers and eyes flash and apparently they make their clothes from jewels. Because my dress, oh, my dress is entirely covered in reflective precious gems, red and yellow and white with bits of blue that accent the tips of the flame design. The slightest movement gives the impression I am engulfed in tongues of fire. (120)

The language of this passage, when Katniss is first transformed into The Girl on Fire by Cinna, is one of the more lyrical scenes in Collins’ writing. Unfortunately, that’s where it goes most awry in its narrative voice. Katniss is self-admittedly not a lyrical person. Earlier in the same book, the most beautiful article of clothing Katniss knows is “a soft blue thing” (15), hardly the lush and waxing detailed knowledge of Cinna’s creation. Katniss’ costume is meant to transform her into a symbol for external viewers to recognize as she parades around the arena, but in betraying her voice, this passage also transforms Katniss from a fully-fleshed character into a mere symbol, an archetypical object, for her author to move around the plot. Much like Cinna arguably does when he uses Katniss’ body as the host for his own political ideals, Collins removes Katniss’ agency in favor of her own linguistic comfort.

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Why I think the “love triangle” in The Hunger Games is actually really, really important.

Okay, before you throw tomatoes at my blog (y’all know it’s all good), let me qualify a few things.

1.  I hate love triangles.  I read the Twilight novels, gagging the entire time because, dude, how is there even any competition?  I’m gonna choose a warm, hairy, stinky dog man over a sparkling piece of vampiric rock any day of the week.

2.  When I first saw the promotions for the movie, Catching Fire and saw how badly LG was playing up Gale and downplaying Everlark to create a triangle similar to Twilight’s, I was like, gag me now.

However, in the context of the novels (I’m not going into the movies because they are essentially another iteration of the same story and a somewhat incomplete one at best), I’m going to say that the supposed “love triangle” and the “choice” Katniss must make between Gale and Peeta is actually extremely important to the theme of the novel.

Not to repeat the plot, because we’ve been in this long enough to know the story backwards and forward, I just want to say that Collins sets up Gale and Peeta as two aspects of Katniss’ character, two sets of values that she contains within herself and, to the extent that she honors one side or the other will also determine the larger theme in the novel (nice that boys are used to drive a female protagonists character development and not the other way around for once). 

Gale, as we know, comes to represent Katniss’ fire, the part of her that fuels her unbreakable will to survive. He is the anger at injustice, the yearning for vengeance and eventually, death.  Initially, she sees Gale as an extension of everything that is home to her, that is integral to who she is as a person.  Note the quote below:

“I have chosen Gale and the rebellion, and a future with Peeta is the Capitol’s design, not mine.”
― Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

Even in Catching Fire, Katniss is still struggling with where to put Peeta in her mind but it is not in the same place as Gale.  She still sees Peeta as someone imposed on her by the Capital, despite her feelings for him. Gale always represented the home camp, what she was supposed to want, the person who best understood her, whereas throughout the first novel and part of Catching Fire, Katniss still sees Peeta as “other” to her and works to figure out whether she can trust him or not. She describes Gale as follows:

Until one time, I open my eyes and find someone that I cannot block out looking down at me. Someone who will not plead, or explain or think he can alter my design with entreaties, because he alone really knows how I operate.”
― Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

As the story develops, however, Katniss’s allegiance, loyalty and love for Peeta grows while her relationship with Gale begins to change.  Gale becomes more and more polarized in favor of the rebellion while Katniss begins to have moral reservations for the lengths he is willing to go to see his beliefs and anger translated into actions.  Here is where we see Peeta’s importance and the alternative he represents to Gale:

I wish Peeta was here— the old Peeta— because he would be able to articulate why it is so wrong to be exchanging fire when people, any people, are trying to claw their way out of the mountain.

― Suzanne Collins ,  Mockingjay

The alternative that Peeta represents to Gale’s fire and willingness to go to any lengths to win the war for the Rebellion is humanity, mercy, compassion and justice free of ideology.  Katniss invokes Peeta at that moment because she knows that he would argue against sealing the Nut and unnecessarily condemning soldiers to their death. It is not a coincidence that when the issue of The Nut comes up, the moral center of the novel, Peeta, is missing as it is often this type of morality that is notable absent when making decisions in war that involve winning by any means necessary.

The parallel between Katniss’ compassionate, nurturing side and Peeta’s is evident in Peeta holding the morphling in Catching Fire as she dies, which mirrors Katniss singing to Rue in The Hunger Games as she dies.  Peeta represents the humane, good, generous, self-sacrificing side of Katniss’ personality, the one who looks at individual suffering and searches for a way to comfort in the midst of horrific circumstances, the one who takes the weak and offers the best protection they can offer.

Gale was everything familiar and known to Katniss.  He shared in the particular injustices common to Seam folk which were more pronounced than those of the Merchant class and felt acutely the oppression of the Capitol, even witnessing the firebombing of District 12. Together they had managed to feed their families and represented sanity and survival for each other.  However, when he had the opportunity to see his anger vindicated, he became the very destructive fire that Katniss learned would eventually destroy her.

On the other hand, Peeta is the baker, the expert in managing fire for the purposes of creating and sustaining. As many posts have pointed out, Peeta is simultaneously associated with hope, warmth, safety, steadiness and eventually, life and rebirth. He is the Merchant, the “other” and yet it is in him that Katniss finds life and healing after the destructive fires of the wars.  He is hope and when hope is absent, death can only follow.  Consider the parallel imagery at the beginning of the novel when Gale brings Katniss the arrow piercing a roll and the same Gale at the end of the novel bringing Katniss the last arrow of the war, the bread notably absent:

“I brought you this.” Gale holds up a sheath. When I take it, I notice it holds a single, ordinary arrow.

Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Soon after, with the same breadless arrow, Katniss assassinates Coin and, privy of all hope, attempts suicide. She is thwarted by Peeta himself, who will not let her die.  Hope keeps her going even against the forces of death and destruction that would consume her.

Katniss, in a moment of self-reflection sees the paths that are opened to her, represented by her two love interests:

That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.

Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Unlike other love triangles, whose only purpose is to serve up dramatic tension and is the focus of resolution for a story or series, the supposed “love triangle” in the Hunger Games is actually the symbolic center of one of the major themes of the novel: - what path does a human being take when confronted with forces and tragedies that are greater than what they can handle?  Specifically, what side of her character will Katniss obey?  I call it a “supposed” love triangle because Collins leaves clues throughout the narrative about what Katniss will choose. She will choose the one she cannot survive without. And she has shown time and again that she cannot live without hope.  And so she chooses Peeta. 

Because in the end, it’s not fire that keeps us alive. There is only one thing that is stronger than fear.  And Katniss chooses to honor that in building her life with Peeta.  It is one of the messages Collins wants us to leave with and the love triangle is the vehicle she uses to deliver that message.

anonymous asked:

SO tell me about young Katniss


  • Katniss volunteers to sing on the first day of school in front of her first class
    • Not only did she volunteer, her hand “shot right up in the air,” according to Peeta. Katniss stood on a stool and sang the valley song. 
    • We know very little about Mr. Everdeen, but Katniss and Peeta both have vivid memories of him singing, and Katniss says when she’s with Rue that she ranks music “somewhere between hair ribbons and rainbows in terms of usefulness.” I think that reason she rejects singing as meaningful right off of the bat is that it’s too painful. It reminds her of her father. During Rue’s death scene, when Rue asks her to sing, Katniss thinks, “I do know a few songs. Believe it or not, there was once music in my house, too. Music I helped make. My father pulled me in with that remarkably voice — but I haven’t sung much since he died. Except when Prim is very sick. Then I sing her the same songs she liked as a baby.” 
  • Katniss says that she “had been to the Hob on several occasions with my father.”
    •  Later, she says, “It was frightening to enter that place without my father at my side, but people had respected him, and they accepted me.” 
      • T H E Y  A C C E P T E D  M E. 
      • Tiny Katniss in the woods with her father is something to consider, but so is tiny Katniss in the Hob with her father after a day in the woods. Tired and whining and dragging her feet until he scoops her up and puts her on his shoulders. The men and women he trade with poking at her belly and joking about how big she’s getting. Asking when she’ll get to shoot some squirrels of her own. Joking that she’ll be even better than Mr. Everdeen, someday, and he’ll have to watch out. A little family of lawbreakers who all sort of look like her, which is so strange compared to the blue eyed blonde girls at home. 
  • Katniss did crafts
    • “I remember the scene. I was home from a day in the woods with my father. Sitting on the floor with Prim, who was just a toddler, singing ‘The Hanging Tree.’ Making us necklaces out of scraps of old rope like it said in the song.” 
    • listen. I don’t want to overstate this… but Katniss was playing dress up. 
      • Another cute Katniss thing from that scene is that she says she ran outside to hide after her mother snatched away the rope necklaces and started yelling at her father, Katniss starts to cry, because her mother never yells. and her father found her immediately, “as I had exactly one hiding spot – in the Meadow under a honeysuckle bush.”
      • “I guess my mother thought the whole thing was too twisted for a seven-year old, though. Especially one who made her own rope necklaces.”

In my opinion, and as I write her, Katniss was a well adjusted and happy little girl. She was probably one of the best fed in the district – fresh meat instead of stale – and while they did without plenty of things, their little house was peaceful, if she wasn’t used to her mother yelling, and it was filled with music. 

I mean, obviously disagreeing with me is your right. But as I see it, Katniss’s family was probably one of the happiest families in the Seam, and Katniss had a really decent childhood until it was taken away from her :(

After lots of fan interest, Growing Back Together weekends is ready to begin! Tag all Growing Back Together fics, drabbles, fanart, and meta with the tag “GBT Everlark”. This can be something that goes on as long as everyone wants! For the month of December, I have provided prompts/inspiration to celebrate Everlark growing back together and the beautiful perfection that was Mockingjay Part 2. Works can take place during any time period that can be considered Growing Back Together, including pre-epilogue, post-epilogue and way into the future! Works can be canon, movie-verse or AU! You can also do as many works as you want! This is all for fun and to celebrate Everlark! Below are the prompts for each weekend of December. All you have to do is tag your work with “GBT Everlark” for all of us to see!  I have also started a tumblr page, @growingbacktogether, where I will compile all works! Thank you to @am2c, @wrestlerpeeta, and @papofglencoe for talking with me and helping me throughout this process, especially with prompts! I hope people can participate and I can’t wait to read and see everything people share :)

December 5th and 6th

Inspiration: Primroses

When Peeta returns to District 12, he plants primroses at Katniss’ home in memory of Prim. Primroses represent many beautiful things. Primroses often represent young love and youth. The primrose can also represent the woman and womanhood. The most popular meaning for a primrose is “I can’t live without you,” making the primrose a perfect gift for the one you most love. Create a work using the primrose symbolism for inspiration.

December 12th and 13th

Inspiration: Rain

In Mockingjay Part 2, Katniss and Peeta sit by the door in their home content admiring the rain as it gently falls outside. While rain can symbolize sadness, despair and tears, it also symbolizes rebirth, renewal, forgiveness and emotional cleansing. In many cultures, rain is a cause for celebration, emotional relief and happiness. In addition, rain is vital as it provides nourishment to the earth and allows life to flourish and new life to be born. Lastly, rain can symbolize abundance and blessing. Create a work using the symbolism of rain in detailing Katniss and Peeta’s new life and emotional growth.

December 19th and 20th

Inspiration: Dandelion

I am the sun in sky of green I am the golden summer queen I’m the friend to every child Because I’m strong, bright and wild. Grown-ups cut me when they mow- Forget they loved me years ago.But when I’m gone, then don’t you sorrow. I’ll be back again tomorrow. -Else Holmelund Minarik

Katniss frequently associates Peeta with dandelions and refers to him as the “dandelion in the spring.” The dandelion is one of the most adored flowers because of what it represents. It is considered the first flower of spring. The dandelion is able to thrive even in the most adverse conditions making it a symbol of survival. The dandelion is also a symbol of faithfulness, happiness, positivity, healing and rejuvenation. The dandelion can also symbolize desire, affection returned, and can communicate “love me.” The dandelion can also symbolize fertility and abundance. Lastly, the dandelion is a symbol of hope. When a child blows at the seed puff of a dandelion, they are making a wish for something better, for a brighter future. Create a work using the dandelion as inspiration.

December 26th and 27th 

Inspiration: Meadow

Katniss sings “Deep in the Meadow” to Prim, Rue, and her children. A meadow is a symbol of abundance and life. It is a gentle landscape that is peaceful and calm. Meadows can represent harmony and balance. Meadows also symbolize freedom, purity and fertility. Create a work using the meadow as inspiration.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when it’s morning again, they’ll wash away
Here it’s safe, here it’s warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.
—  The Hunger Games

Deep in the meadow, under the willow

A bed of grass, a soft green pillow

Lay down your head, and close your eyes

And when they open, the sun will rise

Here it’s safe, and here it’s warm

Here the daisies guard you from every harm

Here your dreams are sweet–

–and tomorrow brings them true

Here is the place where I love you.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away

A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray

Forget your woes and let your troubles lay

And when again it’s morning, they’ll wash away

Here it’s safe, and here it’s warm

Here the daisies guard you from every harm

Here your dreams are sweet–

– and tomorrow brings them true

Here is the place where I love you.

Here is the place where I love you.

Mockingjay Part 1 Review and Initial Reactions

Okay so I just got back from seeing Mockingjay Part 1 and I wanted to talk about my initial reactions. Please forgive me if I post things out of sequence. Also this will be gif heavy and none of these gifs are mine, I also may use a lot of Troy Barnes gifs because he seems to be every fandom’s spirit animal. So with all of that said:

Spoilers under the cut, this is prety much a complete review of the movie, so don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled

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anonymous asked:

Since you reblogged that little Person A and Person B thing, I couldn't stop thinking about it.. So, I feel like you could do it justice. Do you think maybe you can make a little Drabble about everlark and Peeta crashing into Katniss's wedding and the whole "BABY PLEASE" thing lol.. I know you're very busy so I won't be too offended if you say you can't or don't want to :)

Ask and you shall receive, Anon…eventually.

I’ve taken this out of the “Again” universe, which I hope you’ve look at. If not, you’ll probably only need to read September, if you need to.

Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Summary: Taken from the “Again” universe. What if Katniss had stayed engaged to Cato? What if Peeta decided to fulfill his promise to Cinna and go back to San Francisco in search of Katniss? 

What happens when these two high school sweethearts finally reunite?

Fire, of course.

2002, An Again Alternate

Sunday, December 2, 2002 

Upper West Side, Manhattan

“Here’s your ticket,” Clove tells me. She hands me my duffle as we walk towards the exit of my studio. “Your car rental is under your name and the pick-up is at the airport. Do you have the directions to your hotel?”

“Clove, I lived in San Francisco before.” My assistant looks at me doubtfully, pushing her horn-rimmed glasses back up as she stares at me—a nervous habit of hers that I’ve learned about these past few months as we gotten my studio up and working. “I can find my way just fine.”

Opening the door for her, I let her walk through first before we head down the hallway and down the stairs to the main floor.

“You know that my worry has nothing to do with finding your hotel,” Clove replies. She yanks my arm to stop me from walking down the next flight of stairs. “You were supposed to be taking this trip with Cinna…”

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